|Beowulf E-Notes Lesson Plan
A purchase of any one or more of the recommended lesson plans at this site includes access to the eNotes for Beowulf.
The Adventures of Beowulf
Background information and links to a modern version of the epic, broken up into episodes.
This site from the BBC offers extensive information and activities about the Anglo-Saxons.
Listen to Seamus Heaney read excerpts in Modern English. MP3 software required for access.
The Beauty of Anglo-Saxon Poetry: A Prelude to Beowulf
Students study the literature and literary techniques of the early Middle Ages, preparing to read Beowulf with an appreciation for its artistry and beauty. Students will learn the conventions of Anglo-Saxon poetry, solve online riddles, write riddles, and reflect on what they have learned.
This music video can serve as an introduction to the unit, presenting a synopsis of the epic. Downloadable, it runs 3:47 and is captioned.
The British library site presents samples of Old English, Middle English, and Modern English using Beowulf and other texts. This page introduces the Beowulf section with a summary of the epic and a brief discussion of kennings. Follow the link at the bottom to activities, including audio files of a scholar reading Old English and practice with the language.
Using a theme of good vs. evil, this site includes theme openers, crosscurricular activities, research assignments, and suggestions for related reading.
Beowulf: A Terrifying Tale of Good vs Evil
This study guide provides a great deal of background information.
Beowulf: Opening Lines
This YouTube video features Benjamin Bagby accompanying himself on an Anglo-Saxon harp in the original Old English. Follow links to the battle scene, Grendel's ambush, more.
Beowulf: Twenty Questions for Discussion
These questions would work best with advanced students.
Beowulf for Beginners
This extensive resource offers audio files to help with pronunciation of names. It also has the story in prose, divided by chapters, with explanations and artifacts. Young readers, older students who have trouble reading the poem, and those looking for background information will find this site very helpful.
Beowulf Lesson Plans
A teacher's chapter-by-chapter notes, including summary, teaching approaches, and discussion questions.
Beowulf Mock Trial
Click on the title link for thorough instructions on how to put Beowulf on trial. From Outta Ray's Head.
Beowulf on Steorarume (Beowulf in Cyberspace)
An introduction, an Anglo-Saxon text and two translations, and related texts. Be sure to click on "Beowulf Resources" for links to a wealth of background information on Anglo-Saxons: language, history and culture, religion, and leisure activity, including a link to Anglo-Saxon recipes.
Beowulf: Still a Hero
Journal assignments, seminar topics, creative topics, links to a variety of versions of the epic, and study questions for John Gardner's Grendel.
A chronology of the epic. Be sure to note the table of parallels at the top of the page.
Beowulf Study Questions
Thirteen questions for writing or discussion.
This document offers 36 pages of differentiation, daily lesson plan suggestions, handouts, and graphic organizers.
The Graphic Classroom
A review of Stefen Petrucha's graphic novel version of the epic, including a brief discussion of how to use it in the classroom.
Based upon John Gardner's Grendel, this site offers questions to explore character, point of view, setting, and theme. Follow the links to find related works, vocabulary words, projects, even bulletin boards.
The Hero Connection: From Beowulf to Batman
After reading Beowulf,students will identify Beowulf's heroic traits, generalize from these traits a list of typical traits for heroes, and then use these traits to compare Beowulf with contemporary heroes. As a culminating activity, students will define their concept of hero and then create a booklet of personal heroes from various areas.
An Introduction to Beowulf: Language and Poetics
"Although this lesson assumes students will read Beowulf in translation, it introduces students to the poem's original Old English and explains the relationship between Old, Middle, and Modern English. The lesson then goes on to introduce students to alliteration, alliterative verse, and kennings and their importance to Beowulf."
This 2-page handout includes a definition, examples, a list of current kennings, and an invitation for students to create kennings of their own. Adobe Reader needed for access.
Legends - Beowulf
A collection of links about the text itself and about Ango-Saxon life.
The Linguistic and Literary Contexts of Beowulf
A scholarly background to the epic.
In this writing assignment, students bring Beowulf into modern times. The prompt includes background and some guidelines.
This lesson is intended to have students investigate the idea of "monsters" in society. They will begin by defining the idea of what a monster is. They will then read Beowulf. The reading of Grendel by John Gardner will follow. Students will design and present their own conceptions of a monster.
Reading Literature in Translation: Beowulf as a Case Study
By comparing a number of translations of Beowulf with each other and with the basic poetic elements of Old English alliterative verse, this lesson asks students to reflect upon the nature of translation not as an act of accurate representation of a literary work but as an act of interpretive re-creation.
Multi-Media Hero Analysis
Students will recognize the positive character traits of heroes as depicted in music, art and literature. The class will break into groups and write a working definition of a hero which they will present to the class. Students will discuss multi-media representations of heroes as well as cultural differences among who is considered a hero. The teacher will provide various works of art depicting heroes, and the students will choose one hero to research for an essay.
Readings from Beowulf
Follow the links to hear portions of the epic in Anglo-Saxon.
A Teacher's Guide to Beowulf
This 13-page document includes an introduction and prereading activities, journal topics, vocabulary, questions for discussion, supporting activities, quotations, and a bibliography. Requires Adobe Reader or compatible application for access.
Turning the Pages
From this page, select "Pinnacle of Anglo-Saxon Art" to see the illuminated Lindisfarne Gospels. Use the magnifying glass tool to see detail. Commentary is available via text or audio file.
Scops, Rappers, and You: Historians with Style!
Students compare Beowulf with stories told in modern music, including kennings and appositives. From the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.
Suggestions for Pairing Contemporary Music and Canonical Literature
A list of songs that were inspired by reading literature. Organized by the last name of the author (e.g. Chinua Achebe, William Butler Yeats), the list includes song title, performer, year of release, and more. The list includes 9 titles inspired by Beowulf.
What good is Beowulf?
This article emphasizes the development of language as part of the study of the epic. It includes a link to a Webquest on language.